2019-20 Awards

KIDS Channel 5 / Gunnison Elementary School

Teacher(s): Rhonda Wenum

This Grant Project will help build our existing podcast production by supplying the equipment necessary to improve the program and to ensure its sustainability each year. The equipment, including tripods, a desk, and a new logo will provide a more professional looking product.


Bending, Blending, Breaking Design / CB Elementary School

Teacher(s): Ann Weise

Bending, Blending and Breaking Design is a project designed to introduce students to the principles of design thinking and provide them with the opportunity to learn about design from designers, create their own design and present their design in a Design Expo.


Mustang Pond Outdoor Learning Lab / Gunnison Middle School

Teacher(s): Renee Brekke-Ebbott

The Mustang Pond Outdoor Learning Lab has untapped potential. We have a pond, a beautiful deck and a productive vegetable garden. The surrounding space is underutilized. My vision is to add a native plant garden and outdoor classroom to further advance the vision.


Celebrating Heroes – Celebrate The Beat / CB Elementary School

Teacher(s): Sandy Robinson, Elise Meier, Scotty Early Moss, Keely Moran, Molly Frame, Nicole Dickerson

Each grade level will bring their own twist to the idea of celebrating heroes and visionaries; including local heroes, personal heroes, innovators, artistic heroes, and humanitarian heroes. This project will culminate in a tribute: music and dance performance, interactive exhibits, a parade of heroes, and a hero’s luncheon.


Strong Chemistry / CB Secondary School

Teacher(s): Lisa Hart

Our challenge is continuing to provide all students with meaningful hands-on science opportunities as enrollment in chemistry classes increases. More students will have multiple opportunities to use Vernier computer interface sensors to conduct experiments, to gather data, to visualize data trends in real-time, to record data, and to analyze data.


GHS Ski Making / Gunnison High School

Teacher(s): Greg Smith

GHS is beginning a research and design class where students will be making skis/snowboards. We would like to advance the class by adding necessary equipment that would help create a more refined product (ski/snowboard). We are exploring different types of presses used to make skis & snowboards


Personalized, Collaborative, Creating Learning / CB Elementary School

Teacher(s): Katie Gallagher, Camille Polster, Jen Gauley

This project will empower students with personalized, collaborative and creative learning experiences. Our goals include: To effectively integrate Chromebooks into our daily instructional model, to provide opportunities for communication and collaboration within the walls of our classroom and beyond, and to allow for the delivery of instant feedback to students.


GHS Spanish – Free Voluntary Reading / Gunnison High School

Teacher(s): Janet Welsh Crossley, Rebecca Cerio

Reading increases vocabulary. Grammar is acquired through repeated exposure in written and aural forms. In FVR (free voluntary reading), students self-select books of interest to read at an appropriate level. This grant request is to add to the beginning of a two-classroom leveled library of books from which students choose.


West African Dance / Gunnison Elementary School

Teacher(s): Laura Schliesman, Matt Harris

Students will learn the basic essential steps of a West African Dance. The students will attend three 30-minute lessons with an instructor of West African Dance who is accompanied by a West African Drummer. Performance during a school assembly will take place as a culmination event.




Coding with Bots / Gunnison Elementary School

Teacher(s): Brian Rooks

Coding with bots is a great way to incorporate technology into Mathematics and Science. Coding involves measurement of length and angles. It creates an opportunity to use multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition in meaningful and fun way. These 21st century technology skills are the future of our workforce!

CBCS Titans Studios / CB Elementary

Teacher(s): Bethany Ramey, Keely Moran

We hope to build a Titan’s film studio complete with green screen, lighting, microphones, iPad, and editing applications. The studio will be housed in the library office and accessible to all students and teachers (K-12).

FVR for Language Acquisition / Gunnison High School

Teacher(s): Janet Welsh Crossley, Rebecca

Reading increases vocabulary. Grammar is acquired through repeated exposure in written and aural forms. In FVR (free voluntary reading), students self-select books of interest to read at an appropriate level. The goal of this grant request is to build a leveled library of books in Spanish from which students choose.

Science Discovery Cupboards / Gunnison High School

Teacher(s): Audrey Flease

Science laboratory cupboards stocked that are stocked, maintained, and inventoried by student lab groups. The cupboards create a sense of ownership and pride, and helps students develop organizational skills in a lab setting.

Construction Kits to Create, Collaborate and Critically Think / CB Elementary

Teacher(s): Amelia Poppe, Katie Gallagher, Bobby Pogoloff

“Intooba” is a Math/STEM construction manipulative kit. Students are given a building task to solve. Tasks directly correlate to grade-level standards. Teachers may have the students using the rods to creatively add and subtract, explore fractions, engineering properties, or geometrical shapes. Students use manipulatives to solve problems while working collaboratively.

Iron Neck Concussion Management/Prevention / Gunnison High School

Teacher(s): Jarrod Hinton, Tom Percival

To minimize neurological impacts and missed classroom instructional time due to concussion from sport, we will utilize the “Iron Neck” during Physical Education classes to help students strengthen neck muscles, thus creating an effective defense against concussive forces.

Putting it Together / Gunnison Middle School

Teacher(s): Karen Alton, Gina Pollard, Susan Powers, Andy Dunda

A binder machine to assemble our own booklets for our unique curriculums.  A binder would allow us to create exploratory projects for our students’ interests and passions.

The Magnificent Microscope / Gunnison Middle School

Teacher(s): Renee Brekke-Ebbott

Special maintenance for a collection of 15 compound microscopes.

Purposeful Playground / Lake School

Teacher(s): Jessica McNary, Trudy Pfingston-Orr, Tee Pleak, Jessica Vollendorf, Tracie Wise, Katy Dye

Additions to the Lake School playground that will add more purposeful play and outdoor learning opportunities for preschool and Kindergarten students.

Engaging Students with Energy / CB Secondary School

Teacher(s): Betsy Kolodziej

This project will add a current transformer (CT) to the solar panel at CBCS in order to monitor our solar energy generation through our existing eGauge system. This will allow students to monitor both energy consumption and generation at CBCS.

Walking Around Colorado…Literally! / CB Elementary

Teacher(s): Erica Young, Sarah Block, Brynn O’Connell

The Giant Map of Colorado, an oversized vinyl floor map is designed to encourage geographic learning through physical movement and games, teaching place names, physical geography, and cultural geography as well as map reading skills. US/World/Colorado maps set will provide valuable, hands-on, interactive education for daily use.

CBES Selects the Next Newbery Award Book / CB Elementary

Teacher: Stacey Pennie

This innovative project will allow the 4th and 5th grade students to be a 2018 Newberry Selection Committee.  Students will read and critique 4 of the books that are being considered for the actual Newberry Award and will use the same criteria as the official selection committee to choose the Newberry Award winning book.

Artist Exploration – Visual Arts, Music and Dance / CB Elementary

Teachers: Sandy Robinson, Melissa Essig, Emily Jervey, Erica Young, Camille Polster, Sarah Block

In a collaborative effort between our Specials Teachers, Classroom Teachers and Celebrate the Beat staff, we will embark on a whole-school, interdisciplinary thematic unit studying Art History and famous visual artists.  Students will build their background knowledge of artists and art history using a project-based learning approach.

Full STEM Ahead / Gunnison Elementary

Teacher: Amanda Harris

Our 2nd Grade classroom has increasingly integrated technology and “maker-spaces”.  We are at a point in our evolution where we need a little wind in our sails; a little steam in our STEM.  This project will fund classroom materials for future and current STEM projects.

Technology is Art / Movie Makers / CB Elementary

Teacher: Elise Meier

This grant would expand the technology portion of the elementary visual arts curriculum.  Funds will purchase iPad stands, a docking station, more apps and one more iPad for the classroom.  This will allow all elementary students the opportunity to learn to create ate least one digital artwork.

Achievement Center Community Involvement/GCS Swimmers / Gunnison Middle School

Teachers: Stacy Harbaugh, Cynthia Bruton, Jesse Cruz

This is a continuation of the swimming program developed through GVEF grants received in past years for the Gunnison Middle School PE program.  Up to 12 students with special needs will participate in swimming lessons once a week to exercise and develop physical skills and confidence.

Kindergarten Flexible Seating / Lake School

Teachers: Jessica McNary, Katy Dye, Kathleen Mowrey, Ali Rollins, Angie Allen

Five- and six-year-olds have a hard time sitting still to absorb all the important literacy skills necessary to be able to read by the end of the year.  As a team, we are proposing flexible seating options in our classrooms.

GHS Speech and Debate/The importance of Public Speaking / Gunnison High School

Teacher: Sherri Anderson

GHS Speech and Debate has experience tremendous growth in both numbers and competitiveness and is currently offered as both a class and a team.  Building a team library and developing an established curriculum would further the effectiveness of this exciting opportunity for GHS students.

A Transition from Preschooler to Kindergartner / CB Elementary

Teacher: Kelly Piccaro

This grant will help purchase a play kitchen for the kindergarten classroom.  This station will allow kids to engage in both directed and free play and explore real and imaginary roles.  This activity helps inspire creativity and imagination, build community and social skills, and supports academic standards in a “real world” setting.

Psyched for Power Knowledge Science / CB Elementary

Teacher: Sarah Block

The Power Knowledge website will allow students in grades 3-6 to have access to science in an innovative way.  It will allow students to engage in the curriculum using technology.  They will be able to read relevant articles, watch video clips, take quizzes, and play interactive ways.

Envision Independent Project / Crested Butte Elementary

Teachers: Stacie Pennie, Sarah Block, Camille Polster, Melissa Essig

These structured, interdisciplinary, independent project kits can be used to challenge and inspire gifted students. Each grade level kit contains 4 detailed, high-level real-world project guides. The guides contain opportunities for students to work to their ability, interest level and learning style. Students learn time-management, goal-setting and self-reflection.

Getting Kids “Fired” Up for Reading! / CB Elementary

Teacher: Erica Young

Whisper-sync is an application that narrates eBooks on a Kindle Fire with wonderful and inviting narrators while highlighting the text. This system invites struggling readers to fall in love books, build confidence, and significantly boost their fluency.

Cubby Courtyard / Gunnison Elementary School

Teachers: Tracy Archuleta, Jan Betts, Liz Mick, Jill Murphy

The cubby courtyard will be a collaborative area for students, teachers, interventionists, parents, meetings, programs, clubs, etc… It will be designed in the remodeled first grade cubby area (the middle cubbies will be removed). We will have a technology area and collaborative learning areas with different types of comfortable furniture.

Adaptive Swimming Lessons / Gunnison Middle School

Teacher: Matt Harris

The intent of this program is to give students who struggle with PE physically and emotionally another opportunity to learn a lifelong skill to be physically active.

All the World’s A Stage / Gunnison High School

Teachers: Susan Barrett, Robyn Wilkinson, Jeanene Nelson, Keith Koepsel, Virginia Scott

For two sets of nesting stage box platforms, a locked prop cabinet, and a portable screen for a variety of staging options for drama, concerts, speakers, activities, dances and events at GHS.

iPad Listening Center / Crested Butte Elementary School

Teacher: Sarah Block

This grant would purchase 2 iPad Minis for students to use as listening centers in addition to headphones and splitters. These important tools could be used in all subject areas including science, social studies, and math.

Whisper Synch Books for IEP & RtI Reading Students / Crested Butte Community School SPED

Teachers: Scottie Early-Moss, Adrienne Weil

Technology through “Whisper Sync” on Kindle devices allows struggling readers a way to access books at their interest level. 

Outdoor Education Collaboration in the Superstitions Wilderness / Gunnison High School

Teachers: Lisa Danos, Leo Malloy, Gregg Smith

Gunnison High School Outdoor Education will take students to the Superstitions Wilderness in Arizona to create the ultimate experiential learning environment. Instructors and students collaborate to deliver core content and the Outdoor Education curriculum. Most importantly, students learn from each other while having the opportunity to grow as individuals.

Rocket Kids / Gunnison Middle School

Teacher: Neil Coen

A class will be developed that requires students to read the books, “October Sky” about the rocket building childhood of NASA engineer, Homer Hickam and “Lost Moon”, about Apollo 13. Using these books as inspiration, students will then build and launch a series of progressively more difficult model rocket kits.

Cycles: Celebrate the Beat! / Crested Butte Elementary

Teacher: Sandy Robinson

A cross-curricular, multi-grade exploration of Nature’s Cycles through the study of dance, music, art, and science.  This physically and mentally demanding program engages all students in grades 3-5, culminating in a public performance.

Solar Sprint / Crested Butte Community School

Teachers: Kristi Acuff, Todd Wasinger

Build the fastest, most efficient car powered only by the sun’s energy and your understanding of gear ratios, torque, friction and efficiency!! Watch solar energy transform into mechanical, thermal, kinetic and gravitational potential energy as your car races to the top of a steep hill!

Keeping it Real / Crested Butte High School

Teachers: Lisa Hart, Amy Artigues

Using Vernier probes to interface with computers, students will be able to gather, to analyze, and to display precise data from actual experiments in several science classes throughout the year.

“Reading” for All / Gunnison Middle School

Teachers: Stacy Harbaugh, Meegan Haley, Molly Childerston

The Kurzweil Firefly program is a text-to-speech reading program that allows any document to be downloaded or scanned so it can be read to students. With the use of Bookshare.org any novel being read in the middle school can be downloaded and enabled, through the use of the Kurzwel program, to be an audiobook.

Launching Blended Learning / Gunnison Elementary

Teacher: Amanda Harris, Tracy Archuleta, Kim Chodoroski, Jill Murphy

Research-based “Brain Pop Jr” is a tool for teachers to help classrooms transition to blended learning environments.  Brain Pop Jr is engaging, deliberate and focused, as well as deliberate and focused. 

Wenum Technology Development / Gunnison 

Teacher: Rhonda Wenum

For lesson extensions, research, academic games, technology skills that ensure students can access school-based technology.. 

Preschoolers Exploring Science / Lake School

Teacher: Trudy Ferraro

Preschool science discovery should be derived from natural and informal learning that sparks their curiosity and wonder in the world around them. Through hands on activities child are exposed to physical, earth and life science by exploring and creating experiences through learning.

Ticklin’ The Ivories III – TechnoStyle / Lake School

Teacher: Nancy Santarela

For the purchase of kid-friendly music theory software, music composition software, piano music, headphone adapters for GES students to use during the three piano units during the year.

Readers-R-Us / Gunnison Elementary

Teachers: Amanda Harris

A project that allows students to access reading materials at home through technology.  

Language Arts Versa Tiles / Gunnison Elementary

Teachers: Sandra Merrifield, Brian Rooks, Elena Oster, Megan Wells, Ellie Ferguson

A multi-sensory tactile application to engage the struggling reader.  

Digital Arts in the Classroom / CB Elementary

Teacher: Elise Meier

Two iPads which will foster the use of technology and provide practical art applications and digital arts to students.

Which Way to Broadway / Gunnison High School

Teachers: Susan Barrett, Robin Wilkinson, Stacy Harbaugh

A collaborative project to produce a musical – the only Drama offered at GHS in 2014-15.

Water in the Valley / Gunnison Elementary

Teachers: Rain Bodine, Carin Schmidt

A collaborative creation of a 300 x 4 foot painted silk scroll that tells the story and vision of the water in the Gunnison Valley in all its forms and interpretations.

The Daily 5 Implementation / Gunnison Elementary

Teachers: Tracy Archuleta, Kryssia Johnson, Liz Hicks, Amanda Harris, and more.

A Reading Street Curriculum literacy block to be infused into every 1st Grade Classroom.

2014 Diversity Conference / Gunnison High School

Teacher: Sherri Anderson

Student participation at a nationally recognized diversity conference in Denver.

DUDDly – Digital Users Download Digitally / Gunnison High School

Teachers: Lyda Hardy, Shana Benson, Marta Coleman, Mark Searle, Dave White, and more.

DUDDly is a digital download station located in GHS Library.  It provides options to students in approaching text, and assists second language learners, slow readers, and those with other reading difficulties.

Take Me to the River / Crested Butte Community School

Teacher: Lisa Hart

A collaboration with RMBL and Coal Creek Watershed Coalition. 7th Grade students conduct field studies and will later guide 3rd Grade students through investigation stations on the Slate River.

GMS Bilingual Swimmers / Gunnison Middle School

Teacher: Kristina Herrin

English Language Learners will learn to swim (some for the first time), gain physical fitness, and be in a unique environment for practicing English skills.

Triple Summit / Gunnison High School

Teachers: Thomas Kattnig, Dave White

A semester course to examine John Krakauer’s book, “Into Thin Air”, through a multidisciplinary approach incorporating English, mathematics, and physics.  Outdoor educational opportunities will enhance students’ experience.

Building Literacy Independence / Lake School

Teachers: Jennifer Kennedy, Katy Dye, Ali Robbins, Angie Allen

A Implementation of a new reading block in a full-day Kindergarten classroom using “The Daily 5”.  This program requires that 5 essential literacy skills be practiced daily including: reading to self, reading to someone else, word work, writing, and listening.

Advanced Video Production / Crested Butte Community School

Teacher: Julia Kidd

This grant is for a modern video camera which will help students fully utilize video editing software.

Crested Butte Historical Buildings / Crested Butte Community School

Teacher: Amelia Popp

To improved our Colorado History Project with software programs “Pages” and “Keynote” to create historic miner brochures and multimedia presentations.

Character Education Through Soo Bahk Do / Gunnison Middle School

Teacher: Susan Powers

To help students build character and increase physical fitness skills.

Ticklin’ The Ivories / Gunnison Elementary School

Teachers: Nancy Santarella, Amanda Allen

For the purchase of 7 electronic keyboards and related music education materials as part of a music project to enable all GES students to learn to play the piano.

STEM Robotics / Gunnison High School

Teacher: Greg Smith

For the purchase of  “Tetrix Starter Kit” which allows students to create advanced robotic systems and more complicated programming scripts.